The city was a great place for me to learn how to ride. I have survived being hit by a city bus, a taxi, a cop car and several unmarked white vans that drive like maniacs. The best part is running over shoppers with lots of bags who cross the street against the light. Ride with several friends @ night and visit China town. There you can purchase M-80's(the real ones) and throw them of a bridge. The Manhattan usually has a lane closed for construction. Don't try to Cross the Verazano's The cops in the toll booth on the Staten Island side will rip you a new asshole. The city is great run red lights do the trails in Central Park. Visit the Cemetary on top of the Hill in Prospect Park. Have fun don't get your bike stollen while wating to cross the street when a bunch of kids come up to you( that goes out to my little brother)I know I can't spell.
Summary: There are few places in this country that have the variety and pace of the island of Manhattan. If you're able to hold a 20 mph pace and have it in you to sprint past 30, then you can operate on the street.
If not, dont worry. You have an enormous amount of city-run parks that are not paced on the velocity of motor vehicles. Central Park (which can be a day in itself), Battery Park, the East River Jogging trail, Hudson Greenway, Highbridge, Inwood Hill... I could go on.
Streets are a grid formation in all but the oldest parts of the city, running east/west, with avenues north/south. Follow all the rules of the road, keep your bearings, watch for doors. A door will kill you faster than any car. Recently stopped cars are your only warning. You see car stopping in front of you, you stop or you get Doored.
This is, put simply, the greatest bike ride of your life. Your body will be in a shivering adrenaline high for your entire trip. Your handling skills will be tested to their absolute limits, on the bleeding edge of of absolute chaos.
Recommended Route: For athletic beginners, Central Park is a great place to take your road bike and hammer for hours in relative shade. You can use an XC bike like we do, but in the Park, the roadie is in his element. Central Park is great beause as it's name implies, it is located smack in the middle of the island. It's also great becaue you can never really run out of water. You also never seem to run out of time there, either.
For sightseers, go to the battery. The southern tip of Manhattan is wonderful for it's beautiful sights, top-class restaurants, our new big pointy building, Statue of Liberty, Pier 17 and the South St. Seaport, and the Intrepid (which, as of summer 2012, has the shuttle Enterprise displayed on it's deck).
For meat-and-potato types, the streets are essentially your oyster. Stay fast, obey the rules, wear a lid, and keep your eyes on a swivel. Manhattan is more a game of handling skill than all-out speed and experience here is a must. This is a city, these are motor vehicle roads and you weigh collectively zilch. Be prepared to come home a different kind of dirty after sucking exhaust for a whole day. You will come home a different kind of cyclist, as well.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Your choice of bicycle is not as strict here, as long as you're choosing with common sense. These roads operate heavy traffic 24 hours a day, every day. Skinny wheels get ruined here, but are used anyway. 26" wheels are your best bet and get yourself some nice street rubber. Get the bike running properly. You need brakes.
The 'ideal' bike will have a flat bar and be of sturdy construction. You can bring your high-dollar bikes here, but you cannot leave them anywhere. You also may not bring any bicycle into any shop (the subway is fine) unless it's a bike shop. You will see some good midrange bikes covered in duct tape or spray painted to look undistinguishable. In the parks and dotting the streets, you will find the bright paintjobs of bikes (and riders, for that matter) that are worth money. These bikes are usually in transit to one of the parks and are not going to be left anywhere for any period of time.
You find just simply the hugest variety of bikes here, from sixty year old English Raleighs to the blingingest fixie to the most ratty looking late model Yeti on this good earth.
Summary: A great place to ride. Plenty of oppurtunities to jump. It is mostly flat. Try to ride at the south tip. The streets were built by the dutch, and many are barely wide enough for 1 car to pass through. there is also a nice park to ride in down there. While your at it, mow down a few cops for me. Also keep off the sidewalks and out of harlen if you know whats good for you. Dont leave you bike for a second, even locked. I gave it a fives for outrunning taxis,rideing in between lanes, and hanging on to a bus rearview mirror for a boost.
Recommended Route: Over the GWB towards downtouwn.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Central Park
Summary: You better come strong to ride in NYC - All the reviews prior summed it up nicely; don't blink is right! Riding these streets provide me with an adrenaline rush unlike any singltrack I've ever ridden. Potholes, Cabs and Peds make steep downhill descent at high speed laughable.
Hands down THE BEST way to see the city and experience a 'REAL' aspect of NYC that they don't include in the tour guides. If you can master these streets and this urban jungle, you can ride ANYWHERE - Respect to all the messengers and commuters in NYC.
Recommended Route: Manhattan Bride North is by far the best bridge path to take - clean, easy and hardly any peds! Explore Brooklyn and Prospect Park and forget the hype of Manhattan for a bit.
Summary: I live in northern manhattan and from experiance i can say that loths of the supposedly """paved""" roada are in need of repair and are at times alot like technical unpaved trails. cars, crime, and cops many dangers abound. check it out its an adventure.
Recommended Route: All roads leat to NYC
Review Date June 27, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a week
Reviewed by: Sensei Tank
, from Da Bronx
Summary: In '89 I bought my first mountain bike and took to the streets. I never rode on dirt trails as most people know them, but you can't ride any dirtier trails than in NYC! The main ave`s are actually ridges and I rode up and down their side streets across the main avenues down to the lowest point, up, across the main, down the other side, dodging cabs, buses, trucks... what an f'ing rush! I was put out of commission by an invisible car in central park. Totalled my bike and my body. I'm buying a new bike next week and goin' a-huntin for that invisible car! The Bronx has some thrilling hills too!... Kingsbrigde/Bailey ave, Burnside ave, 184st and Webster, and one off of Edward L Grant that is so steep I did it once and almost blew out my thighs. I'm not in the shape I was in back then but I will be in a couple of months. I was born and raised in the Bronx and some of the guys here are right... always carry "protection"! ALWAYS!!! It's been long since I've been on the road. I have to get a feel for things again but when I do, I'll re-post.
Recommended Route: The Five Boroughs of the Big Apple
Other recommended trails in the same area: There is no place like NYC. If you are feint-hearted, stay in your cushy lil protected community LOL!!!